Attorneys who utilize virtual paralegal support realize significant savings over the traditional employee staffing model. With as-needed virtual paralegal support, you have no overhead costs and can scale your usage hours up or down depending on volume. Even attorneys with full-time paralegals may benefit from enlisting additional virtual support when workload is heavy. Bringing in backup services when your staff is slammed will certainly improve morale!
But is outsourcing paralegal work safe? Under Rule 5.3 of the Model Rules, attorneys must make reasonable efforts to ensure that a paralegal’s conduct is compatible with the professional obligations of the lawyer. This standard applies even though outsourced paralegals are not technically employees of a law firm. It is well known that low-cost “paralegal” work can be obtained from foreign overseas providers; however, using such services may be an ethical minefield. Several important questions must be considered:
Is the overseas paralegal provider adequately familiar with the American legal system and ABA ethics standards?
Law firms in the United States perform client work that requires a thorough working knowledge of the US legal system and its terminology. Entrusting your reputation to someone who has never studied law in the United States is inherently risky. At a minimum, this requires an extra thorough (and time-consuming) second look as you must review not only for overall competency but also go over with a fine-toothed comb for terminology usage and other wording errors that could turn into a liability for you and your client. Allconus virtual paralegals are located in the US, bound by ABA ethics standards, and have significant education and experience in US legal support.
Are you risking confidentiality compliance by sharing client documents and records with overseas paralegal support?
Confidentiality when working across national borders is a legitimate concern. Some attorneys have expressed concern that their client documents and records could be mishandled, hacked, or subjected to seizure in foreign judicial or administrative proceedings. Allconus virtual paralegals operate right here in the United States.
Is the time zone difference with overseas support an impediment to productivity?
A 5-12 hour time difference between you and your overseas paralegal means that you likely won’t see a reply to any of your emails until the following business day. Time zone differences can also prevent you from having a quick phone or video chat to discuss the project in real-time. Even if the time differences could be worked out, your clients are probably not going to want to accept a call from India to speak with your paralegal about their discovery. Allconus virtual paralegals are here in the United States working the same hours as you and prepared to do client-facing work on your behalf.
Is it important that virtual paralegals be native English speakers?
In a word, yes. Communication and language barriers are a huge issue with outsourcing work overseas. When working with an overseas “paralegal” it is safe to assume that most people speak English as a second language. Language barriers can create serious challenges with communicating with the specificity required for legal briefs and documents. Ultimately this can cause mistakes, stress, and wasted time. Allconus virtual paralegals are all native English speakers.
Can cultural or geo-political issues affect the reliability of overseas virtual paralegal support?
You may not be aware of the many social, cultural, and geo-political issues in play when you contract with an overseas paralegal. Challenges can include different holidays observed (meaning your paralegal is not working on a day you need support). Cultural differences can hinder understanding and lead to a myriad of issues particularly when operating under tight legal deadlines. Some countries are more prone to geopolitical unrest that could curtail your support person’s work without notice. It’s important to consider scenarios that could impact your ability to serve your clients.
Is US-based virtual paralegal support a viable option?
Yes! Allconus’s experienced virtual paralegals are all located here in the United States. All our paralegals have extensive US law firm experience, comply with ABA guidelines, and are equipped to do client-facing work on your behalf, during the regular business hours that you hold.
Allconus provides as-needed paralegal support which allows you to control cost and increase revenues while securing the competitive advantage of high-quality USA-based support. Enjoy the flexibility of scaling your team support to exactly what you need at any given time. “Allconus always comes through for me, whether it’s a big or small project.” – Attorney J.K., Tennessee
Available services include:
- Discovery support (draft request and responses, coordinating with clients to obtain information and documents)
- Document Support (drafting, formatting, proofreading, bates stamping)
- And More!
Need ongoing support? Ask about our discounted pre-paid 3-month Subscription package.